I found Charles Traub’s visit to Colby change my perception of Patterns, Presentation, and Perception of humans and nature!

I liked how in his “Lunchtime” piece, we see patterns emerge, things that he has taken from his viewing of the world, and collaborated them together to make patterns, intentionally putting certain people next to each other, either because they are related in story, or in appearance. This pattern-organizing that humans do with the world is amazing, and can be found in many organisms beyond humans! When gardening, I often will pant rows, or areas of certain plants – this is to have a track of what plants they are, and have more accessibility to it. Similarly, Charles categorizes the patterns he sees in people’s portraits and draws on these patterns in his lecture.

Charles also brought up the idea of how we present ourselves. He suggested that we are all actors on the stage, preparing for the presentation of ourselves in everyday life. We wear a mask, but we are comfortable with our mask, and our mask fits us. All humans wear masks of some sort, wether it be going to the laundromat, coffee shop, or gas station, there is an expected level of interaction that humans expect of each other and the environment around them. In order to meet these standards, even if we are not internally meeting these standards, we have created “masks” to separate ourselves from ourselves a little. He even brought up the idea of putting on the mask, and having it look back at you – I thought this was a cool idea. From the 80’s to now, has the mask been let down at all? I think that it has in some ways, but in others, we are expected to do more, with the increase in usage of technology being another front that we put up.

Perception is another great thing that we can always add to our lives, and Charles gives us much perception! Charles says that the best part of the world is on the surface – after seeing his collection of pictures that look like paintings, so real that I felt like I could almost touch the woman’s hat, or feel the man’s mustache, or the guy smoking on the corner were looking at me. Charles also said that if you’re in one place long enough, the whole world will pass. I find this really interesting, relating to perception because much of our lives we are moving very fast, and it reminds us, as humans, to stay in one place, and watch the world pass for a moment or two.

Most important, beyond our perceptions, presentation, or patterns in the world, is the fact that humans may be the same as nature. Some may argue against this, but I am going to make the claim, especially seeing the landscape of each person that Charles captured, that there is no difference between humans and nature. Maybe we are just re-purposed portions of nature all put together: our movements, actions, thoughts, all made and done before, but now we have developed a pattern from nature that we call “human”